HOW CAN WE MAKE RATIONING WORK FOR US?
A Discussion Leaflet from the Office of War Information
This is an outline for teachers, discussion
leaders, and speakers.
It is designed, first, to answer concisely
some of the chief problems about the admin-
istration of point rationing which are likely
to arise in discussion; then, to suggest sub-
jects and questions en which participants in a
discussion might be expected to share their
ideas and experiences to mutual benefit.
Point rationing seems technical, but it is
not difficult to use, once we get the hang of
it; the experience of other countries has
proved that. Point rationing will work as
well for us as we make it work. To make it
work we must understand it. We must adapt
our old routines to it and learn to use it skill-
fully, and we must help each other to use it
You will have ample opportunity to under-
stand the mechanics of point rationing.
Therefore, this outline is not an explanation
of point rationing, although it may profitably
be used in connection with any of the explana-
tions of point rationing prepared by the
Office of Price Administration.
WHY DO WE RATION CERTAIN FOODS?
We have to ration some foods. We have
enough food, but we have no more than
enough. We have to ration it because food is
a weapon of war, and we have to distribute it
as carefully as we do our other weapons. We
have to feed our soldiers at home and abroad;
we have to help the allies who are fighting for
us; we have to feed our civilians at home.
We have to do all these things with less man-
power, less tin and steel for canning, less
transportation. Therefore, we have made a
battle plan for food—we ration in order to
use all that we have and use it best.
.,.. Discussion Guide No. 1
WHY POINT RATIONING ?
We have adopted point rationing, for one
reason, because it is the most flexible kind of
rationing; it discourages the purchase of
the scarcer items in a group of rationed foods.
Another reason is that it is the kind of ration-
ing which gives everyone the greatest possible
freedom of choice; we may use our points for
any one of a number of foods within a ra-
tioned group. And it is the most demo-
cratic kind of rationing because it gives the
greatest assurance of fair play, an even start,
and equal opportunity for everyone.
SOME COMMON OBJECTIONS
Some of the most common objections are
Isn't Point Rationing Too Complicated?
1. Winning the war is complicated, and
this is a part of winning the war.
2. Our Government carefully considered all
types before deciding on this one, and profited
by the experience of other countries. Point
rationing is the simplest way to ration a
group of similar foods. The British people
haven't found point rationing hard to under-
stand and follow, once they got the hang of it.
3. Many things even in normal times are
complicated. It is complicated to farm, or
to manage a home, or to drive a taxi. It is
complicated to live within one's income of
dollars and cents. War makes all these
things more difficult, and that is why we need
devices like rationing.
Why Must We Declare the Canned and
Bottled Food We Have on Hand?
1. It is only fair that everybody start even.
When the new system starts, some families
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